Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

INTEGRATING FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

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Books and Videos:

  • Wisdom from Women of the Bible - John MaxwellWisdom from Women in the Bible. John Maxwell releases his latest book, Wisdom from Women in the Bible. Like his two other Giants of the Bible books, it’s written in a narrative form, but it’s still filled with the things that he’s learned from each featured Biblical character. This time, he focused on female leaders in the Bible, imagining what it would be like to meet these inspiring women.
  • God, the Gospel, and Getting Things Done. Check out this one-hour video of a discussion panel with Matt Perman (author of the excellent What’s Best Next), Charles Smith Jr., and Dr. Jason K. Allen.

 Favorite QuotesQuotes on FAITH AND WORK:

It’s amazing to me to see how many people expect to end up in a certain place and yet they will not lead and they refuse to be led. Andy Andrews

Life is special when you reach out beyond yourself to be a true servant leader for others. Ken Blanchard

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional. John Maxwell

Education without motivation serves no useful purpose. Dr. Alan Zimmerman

If you think you’re leading and look behind and no one is following, you’re just out for a week. Dr. Alan Zimmerman

Great leaders find their own approach to learning, but they all do whatever it takes to keep learning. Mark Miller

Book Reviews

CChess Not Checkers by Mark Millerhess Not Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game by Mark Miller. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 144 pages. 2015

The latest book from Mark Miller helps leaders elevate their leadership, looking at leadership as chess, rather than checkers. I have previously enjoyed Miller’s The Secret (with Ken Blanchard) and his previous book The Heart of Leadership. See my review of The Heart of Leadership here

This book is written as a story or parable, much like the books of Ken Blanchard, Patrick Lencioni or Miller’s previous books. We meet Blake who leaves his position at Dynastar to take on his first CEO assignment at a small organization that has a good product, but is not being led well. In fact, Blake is the fifth CEO in the past ten years. On his first day he is stunned at the culture he walks into. He knows he has a lot of work ahead of him if he is going to be successful. He needs help so he reaches out to his long-time mentor Debbie, who herself had been mentored by Blake’s late father. As much as Debbie has helped him in the past she feels that he needs mentoring from someone who has been a CEO in the past, and was very good at leading large and complex organization. So Debbie connects Blake with Jack.

Blake begins a mentoring relationship with Jack, who uses the games of chess and checkers to help Blake elevate his leadership game and try to turn his new company into a high performance organization. Jack share four leadership moves, applied from the game of chess, with Blake. Blake then takes what he has learned back to his leadership team. He meets some resistance and realizes that as Jim Collins has written in Good to Great that he not only needs to get the right people on the bus, but he needs to get the wrong people off the bus as well. Not all of Blake’s current leadership team buys into his vision for the future and thus they have to go.

I really enjoyed following Blake’s leadership journey in this story, but much more so the valuable lessons Miller brings out in this short book. Although you can read the book in just a few hours, I recommend that you take a different approach. Read and discuss the book with your current leaders or mentees, taking time to discuss in depth each of the moves and principles Jack shares with Blake.

Miller currently serves as Vice President for Leadership Development for Chick-fil-A, an organization I very much admire. I’m very excited that a new Chick-fil-A restaurant is being built at this time in my community. Don’t forget to check out Mark Miller’s website at

 Faith and Work Book Clubs – Won’t you read along with us?

The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler The Conviction to Lead Book Club

The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters by Albert Mohler

We’re reading this excellent book from Albert Mohler, one of the best that I’ve read on leadership. It is broken down into 25 relatively short chapters. Won’t you read along with us?

Chapter 10: Leadership and Credibility Happens When Character and Competence are Combined

  • A good leader stands out when character is matched by competence and the central virtue of knowing what to do.
  • True credibility rests in the ability of others to trust what the leader can do.
  • When you enter the room, trust and confidence had better enter with you. If not, leadership is not happening.
  • No leader is competent to fill every leadership position in every organization.
  • You must be competent in the skills and abilities of the leadership role to which you have been called.
  • Some positions of leadership require specific educational preparation and academic credentials. Other positions of leadership require the credibility that comes through experience.
  • Credibility can be earned. As a matter of fact, that is the only way you can get it. The good news is that credibility can be earned. The bad news is that it can also be lost.
  • The effective leader cannot afford to lose credibility—in fact, he needs to stockpile it and build it in reserve.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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